“A what?”

Now that I am home, bleary-eyed, and contemplating the regular non-knitting world, and pondering what has just happened…

I think it is a crying shame that so many of the Sock Summit attendees only had to travel within their own country, and therefore never had the experience of telling customs & immigration officers that their purpose of travel was for “a knitting convention.”

You should try it some time, it’s fun.


  1. Yes! I enjoyed that a lot. The guy’s like, “You only bought yarn?” and I said, “Well, fiber, actually. And spindles.” And he just waved me on.

    (I didn’t buy any yarn at all, but I figured it would be easier to understand. Apparently I was wrong!)

  2. shanknitsnyc · ·

    i’m totally overwhelmed just reading some of your re-cap! looks like you had a great time and the yarns all look fantastic!

    good luck readjusting to the real world this week:)

  3. 😀 I would love to do that…

    Though I have had to tell immigration that I was going on a day trip to the States for religious professions, try explaining that one…

  4. Yes that was quite a bit of fun. The customs officer was rather amused. I was kind of disappointed actually that I didn’t get asked any questions about what I bought, even though I was over the exemption. But I am glad I didn’t have to pay duty.

  5. Customs is right to be cautious. The yarn in the US is dangerous, you know. My stash nearly strangled me this morning… or was that my husband? He just might if he ever discovers its true size.

  6. hahahaha amazing.

  7. I read your post about ssk to my boyfriend because I was laughing so much and he didn’t get it. Go figure.

  8. I’m giggling just thinking about it 🙂

  9. LOL!!!! I bet passport people hear all kinds of things, though.

  10. Coming back from Rhinebeck is similar.

    Last year we got “So you’re not with the spinners then?” (baffled look) “Oh yes, we spin, too. It’s a sheep and wool festival. Really big. Lots of people go every year.” More baffled look and waves us through.

    On the way back it was all about “three women in a car only means one thing — shopping trip”. That customs guy was also baffled at how little we spent and that it was only yarn.

  11. I’m sure the TSA screeners were equally baffled.

    Maybe we should undertake to teach all the screeners to knit. That would make traveling with knitting so much easier.


  12. Were you able to take needles on the plane?

    I missed that part if you mentioned it.

    Loved the fun photos!

  13. I can see that. When I went to the UK, the guy seemed baffled by the simple fact that I was there on vacation for spring break. A yarn convention? Must make customs officers’ heads spin. How long could you hold in the giggles while watching it? 😉

  14. I was way too close (about a mile from OCC)! At least when you get on a plane to go home, you feel like there’s a natural breaking off. I’m still wandering around wondering where everyone went! The party’s over…I miss you!

  15. Glenna,
    It’s true I only had to travel a few hours by car— but when questioned by friends as to my Saturday whereabouts, “knitting convention” seemed by far the more subdued description over “Sock Summit!”
    So great to have met you!
    P.S. I have “queued” your lovely…er… wicked stockings, too! They’ll be done in STR Rooster Rock!

  16. Very true!

    Traveling with knitting supplies concerns me, but apparently it can be done!

  17. I have been a lurker for awhile. I didn’t realize how close you are to my town. I went to ThreadBear in Lansing, MI once and when I was crossing back to Ontario it was funny watching the guy at custom’s try and wrap his head around the fact that I would buy enough yarn for 10 pairs of socks….lol….Are you planning to attend the KW knitters fair in Sept??

  18. I have a long history of confusing Customs guys. Starting with the school trip I took to Germany. I had a friend who wanted me to bring back a Black Forest cake from the Black Forest. So I did. And you know how the customs forms ask if you’re bringing back dairy products? Yeah…totally claimed that for the whipped cream. COMPLETELY baffled the guy as I told him the whole story. In detail. Including the part where I decided that a whole cake would be over the top, so was only bringing back half…
    Until he just said, “Oh just go!”

    Coming through customs after Rhinebeck was VERY fun though…especially with a car full of knitters ACTUALLY knitting. We got about a 100 feet from the border before Steph said: “Uh oh…we forgot to declare the beer.”

  19. I would love to have that kind of ‘fun’!

  20. My favourite customs experience: the weekend that the last Harry Potter book came out, my sister and I were visiting my cousin in Seattle, but we had decided beforehand that we wanted Canadian editions of the book, so we drove up to Vancouver the day before it came out to visit friends and then pick up our copies. Here is how I remember the conversation we had with the US customs guy on the way back:
    Customs guy: What was the purpose of your trip?
    My cousin: Ummm…we went to buy Harry Potter books.
    Customs guy: Oh…you ladies have kids?
    Us (in chorus): Nope!
    Customs guy: (Laughs) Okay, you have a nice day.

    Probably about the only time a US border guard has told me to have a nice day…Guess he figured that HP fans could not be a security risk.

  21. On my last international trip, I was searched by US customs for declaring about $500 of yarn and soap. (Hey, I was in France!)

    The customs officer couldn’t believe that I’d spent that much on “string,” and yet…

  22. I’m lucky I didn’t have to pay duty even though I went way over…I had funnier looks going down than I did going home!

    PS – I’ll look for you next time I’m at an airport!

  23. So glad you are home! I had such a great time at sock summit and all of your fabulous pictures remind me of just that!! And I loved meeting you for a bit at the sock hop….love love love those wicked socks!!!

  24. Do post pics of your purchases at sock summit. Any new additions to your stash?

  25. My favourite experience with german customs officers was after a trip to New York with an extensive visit to the purl shop last year. I felt obliged to declare all the yarn I bought. I made them touch and admire my puchases and told them not to tell my husband how much I spent on yarn. They couldn`t understand I wasn`t a professional dealer and were really busy to sort out all the different fibers because each fiber had a different number in their books.

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